Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Bits and Icelandic Horses

The Icelandic Horses in the images are all negatively affected by the bit and the contact on the reins. A horse should have a quiet, soft mouth when ridden properly (no noseband required).

An excerpt from an Eclectic Horseman article:

"That brings up the subject of maintaining a sensitive and soft mouth, which goes back to the school of Naples.

It was then clearly realized that in training a young horse, harsh rein action would occur, either inflicted by the rider, or the self-defense of a young horse, and the sensitivity of the bars would be progressively damaged.

Let's face it, a piece of steel in the mouth that is pulled on unilaterally or on both sides with the connection of the snaffle joint pushing against the palette is no treat.

Also for about 6,000 years all snaffle bits had cheek pieces, so when using one rein, the cheekpiece of the other side prevented the bit from slipping through the mouth and pushed the head in the desired direction.

More recently invented loose ring snaffles are not a step in the right direction."

Read more:

We should think about this in regard to the Icelandic Horses (islandpferd, cheval islandais, ijslands paard, islanninhevonen, islenskihesturinn) and what the bit does to his mouth when the rider's weight is on the reins.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Icelandic horse

Icelandic horse
Originally uploaded by Runar F
A picture of an Icelandic Horse in Iceland.

The Icelandic Horse

The Icelandic Horse
Originally uploaded by Styrmir Kári
A picture of the Icelandic Horse in Iceland.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Happy Pony?

Is this a happy pony (Icelandic Horse)?

Check out his head and neck in the trot.

He's behind the vertical.

Is this a good or not-good thing?

Check out the horse's tail.

What is he saying?

How much contact is required to get gait?

Is the horse fighting the bit?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Speaking Up For The Horse

Here are a few quotes that guide our journey with horses:

That you may retain your self-respect, it is better to displease the people by doing what you know is right, than to temporarily please them by doing what you know is wrong. ~~ William J. H. Boetcker

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. ~~ Martin Luther King Jr.

If we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves share in the guilt. "Black Beauty" ~~ Anna Sewell

All that is necessary for ignorance to prevail is for educated people to say nothing. ~~ Judy Ryder (adapted from the quote attributed to Edmund Burke)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Icelandic Horse Evaluation

This appears to be an evaluation of non-ridden Icelandic Horses; walk and trot (no gait?), and lead by the bit (not halters?).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Icelandic Horse Neckrope Riding

Riding the Icelandic Horse / Islandpferd / Cheval Islandais / Ijsland Paard / Island Hast / Islanninhevonen with a neckrope, no bridle, no bit, no noseband!

Icelandic Horses are more comfortable without the bits and nosebands. The move more freely and naturally without the contact.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fighting the Bit

This horse is fighting the bit from the first step to the last.

At what point is someone going to do something about it?

Is the horse supposed to put up with the pain from the bit? the hands?

Is the horse supposed to get used to it?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Reasons Not to Ride on Ice

Icelandic Horses Fall Through Ice Video

We do not support demos of Icelandic Horses riding on ice, either on rivers, lakes, rinks, or arenas. It is too dangerous, and may be detrimental to the horse's long-term soundness.

If a child tries this, we may lose the child and the horse.

Think about it. Just because it may be done in Iceland, does not mean it is right, or good.

Pounding the horse's metal shod foot against the hard ice must be uncomfortable, if not painful to the horse. Additionally, there is the problem of the ice nails grabbing the surface and interfering with the normal action of the foot to slide into place, and putting torque onto the hocks.

Please. Put your thinking caps on!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Playing with the Icelandic Horse / Islandpferd

Horses like to play games with people. Like kids who enjoy spending special time with Mom or Dad, horses also enjoy engaging with people. It adds to the relationship, and makes a smarter horse, one more willing to have two-way communication.

Icelandic Horses (aka cheval islandais, island hast, islandske hest, island pferde, islenskir hestar, ijslands paard, islanninhevonen, islenskihesturinn, islandisches pferd, hestur, islandpony, icelandic pony) really seem to enjoy interacting with humans in ground work, games, toys, clicker training, or anything in a positive, relaxed learning atmosphere.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Icelandic Horses Resting

These are my two Icelandic Horse mares (pinto and palomino) resting in the morning sun after breakfast.

For more information about Icelandic Horses, see the Icelandic Horse Connection website.

Below is the pony.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Gaits That No Other Horse Does?

A quote from National Geographic, about the Icelandic Horse:

"...the Icelandic horse does two gaits (besides walk, trot, and gallop) that no other horse does."

Is this true?

There are many gaited horse breeds that do intermediate gaits such as running walk, fox trot, stepping pace, saddle rack, and rack (tolt), as well as pace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Riding IslandPferde / Icelandic Horse Bridleless

Riding Icelandic Horse / IslandPferde bridleless in the snow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Natural Icelandic Horse Rider

Finally! A "natural" Icelandic Horse rider! Bareback and bitless!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Forced Frame to Tolt

Is the tolt natural to the Icelandic Horse?

If so, why does the horse have to be put into an unnatural forced frame to gait?

Why hurt the horse to gait?

Islandpferd Videos